As an HR team or company leader, there is nothing more disheartening than rolling out a wellbeing programme to find your employees aren’t engaging with it; they don’t attend the seminars, the yoga studio remains empty and coaching isn’t taken up. There could be a number of reasons why this is the case but here are our top tips to try and maximize attendance to your wellbeing sessions and ensure your people get the most out of your wellbeing strategy.
Let your employees know what they’ll get out of attending the workshops or sessions. We provide details to our partners to highlight what our previous attendees have reported, including aspects like improved productivity, better energy levels, feeling less stress etc. Let them know how it can help improve; their work, their personal lives and their sense of wellbeing.
Test running workshops and seminars at different times of the day to see when employees are most likely to attend. Each company is different; you may have a culture where employees start and finish later and may prefer an evening workshop or lunchtime may work best if employees tend to stay in for lunch. Test, measure and ask your people what works best for them.
Over-communicate and don’t be afraid to send multiple reminders out for sessions that are running. Most people’s inboxes are overloaded and they may miss things or forget. Research has shown that when people are reminded of an exercise class they have booked the day before andon the day of the class, they are much more likely to attend.
This is a simple technique but very effective. It may take a little effort but when someone signs up to attend a session, send them a calendar invite so it will block out that time in their diary. They are less likely to forget or schedule something else in during that time.
Make sure your managers are aware of when the sessions are and ask them not to schedule anything with their teams during this time so it’s easier for employees to attend. If your leaders get behind the scheme, it is much more likely to succeed.
Put up notices above the coffee machine, by the water cooler and in any communal areas that could serve well as reminders and may encourage more sign-ups.
If you are running wellbeing workshops but your managers are making unreasonable demands, employees are going to be cynical about the message behind the workshops. Your wellbeing strategy should align with your company values and these values should be lived in day-to-day life at work.
Ensure that employees know that you are running the programme from a place of care and concern for their wellbeing, rather than to try and squeeze even more productivity out of them.
Enroll employees who have an interest in wellbeing to become champions of the programme. Pick out the person who always leaves work in their running gear or takes that lunchtime yoga class and ask them to help you spread the word and encourage others to sign up for sessions.
Feedback is the most valuable way to assess what’s working and what employees want to see more of. Feedback forms after each session are very useful. You could also ask one or two people who have been to lots of sessions for their individual feedback.
See if your CEO or a company director would write an email to the company, emphasizing their support for the programme and encouraging people to attend sessions and engage with the programme. It gives the seal of approval from the top of the organization that it’s ok to take time out of the working day to improve your wellbeing.